The role of Mayor of Leek is of course a great honour and as a long serving Leek Town councillor it was certainly a year I was very much looking forward to.
The year has of course been blighted by COVID and the usual opportunities to network with neighbouring Mayors and civic leaders have been severely limited. The Mayoral year is usually crammed with engagements and the pleasure of meeting the good people who make up Leeks many close-knit communities.
The Mayor and Mayoress traditionally get to attend the functions at countless Schools, Societies, Clubs, Associations, Charities and of course faith based services.
These engagements allow a clearer understanding of the hopes wishes and dreams that are held by people of all ages and give valuable insight into the quality of life enjoyed. It also givesgreater awareness of the challenges faced by many in these tumultuous times.
A Civic Service at St Edwards Church and a Civic reception are part of this tradition too. The Mayor also visitsneighbouring towns and in turn hosts them back here in Leek. The rolling calendar includes Club Day, Party in the Park, Leek Show, Arts Festival, Blues and Americana, Scooter fest and Charity events including of course the Mayors own Charity Ball, our Remembrances and Anniversaries. One event is the fantastic Christmas Lights Switch on which is always described as the highlight of every Mayors year. This last year has for us been devoid of any such pleasures as we all just stayed in and stayed apart in a socially distanced dystopia.
In a Covid year I have been unable to meet and personally thank those very many dedicated NHS and medical professionals who have been at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic. So, thank you all – as you continue to deliver the vaccine – thanks to you we are now getting our lives back after a long hard journey. Of course, I have neither been able to personally meet those wonderful carers who supported Leeks Care home and Retirement home residents – they too deserve our thanks . In fact, here’s a big thank you to all who have played their part in this journey.
My message over this past 12 months has been one of hope and solidarity in a town caring for each other. The human spirit in adversity and the responsibility shown in doing the right thing is a Badge of Pride for Leek people. I hope we can now enjoy all those things in life we have all been denied this past year, we will never take them for granted ever again. So as this unique mayoral year ends for me – I want to wish you all a safe return to normality. Have a great Summer- and Love where you Live.
Stephen Wales, Mayor